Unforgettable win for Miller in Qatar23/03/2014
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider takes first victory of 2014 and first career podium at season opener. Karel Hanika debuts in the World Championship with maiden two points.
The floodlights at the Losail Circuit were on, but it was Jack Miller who lit up the Moto3 Qatar Grand Prix. The Australian had a memorable night, taking the first podium finish of his World Championship career and doing so with a victory. It was a hard-fought win for Miller, who had to battle right through to the final lap of the race. Teammate Karel Hanika marked his first Grand Prix appearance with a fourteenth place finish.
Miller got off to an excellent start from third on the grid, taking the holeshot and breaking away alongside Alex Marquez. The duo took turns in the lead throughout, but with two laps remaining the chasing pack reached them and three riders challenged the pair for the victory. Miller made best use of the overtaking between his rivals and capitalised on their mistakes, snatching the lead in the penultimate sector and never looking back.
Karel Hanika debuted in the Moto3 World Championship with an excellent start, gaining five places on the opening lap and closing out the second group in fourteenth. Throughout the 18-lap contest, the Czech fought against far more experienced riders and was able to hold onto his position until the end, claiming the first two Grand Prix points of his career.
Following this opening race, Miller leads the overall standings. His win was the first for a Australian in the smallest cylinder class since Casey Stoner at Malaysia in 2004. The action returns in three weeks’ time, at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin. Miller has already ridden there once in the World Championship, whilst Hanika participated in last season’s Red Bull Rookies Cup round at the Texan track.
Results – Race
1. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 38:05.810
2. Alex Marquez (Honda) +0.233
3. Efren Vazquez (Honda) +0.280
4. Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra) +0.295
5. Alex Rins (Honda) +0.369
14. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +11.292
Moto3 World Champhionship Standing 2014
1. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 25 points
2. Alex Marquez (Honda) 20 points
3. Efren Vazquez (Honda) 16 points
4. Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra) 13 points
5. Alex Rins (Honda) 11 points
14. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2 points
Jack Miller >> Audio
“Without a doubt , I could not have ask for anything better from today: My first race with the team, my first podium and my first win -unbelievable. It was a very good race and a great way to start the season. There are still many Grands Prix ahead and have much to learn, but for today I am very happy. Winning a race is an amazing feeling, so I hope I can repeat the feeling more times. Thanks to the whole team for the work we’ve done together so far.”
Karel Hanika >> Audio
“The first race did not go badly. We started from nineteenth position and it is precisely due to that why I think we did not finish higher up. In spite of this, I’m happy because I think I had a good race. My start was very good and I slotted into a large group of riders. Later on we ended up getting in each other’s way, and I ended up in a group fighting for thirteenth. I was leading that group, but on the
*Audio solely for radio use